Stephen Maguire
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Stephen Maguire scrapes through league group

Stephen Maguire survived the opening stage of the Championship League at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on Tuesday.

The former world number two, who plummeted outside the world’s top 16 last season, edged Si Jiahui to progress from Group 21.

Heading into the final round of fixtures, Maguire needed a specific set of results to guarantee his place in Stage Two of the competition.

Having drawn his first two ties against Si and Mitchell Mann, Maguire knew a 3-0 victory over Matthew Stevens was likely only ever going to be enough.

The Scot played his role by whitewashing Stevens at the end of the day’s play, soon after he received a favourable scoreline in the contest between Si and Mann.

Both players could have gone through with triumphs, but they shot themselves in the foot by drawing and sharing the points.

That left Si and Maguire tied on five points, but crucially the latter lost one frame fewer throughout the day’s play and boasted a superior frame difference.

In Group 22, a somewhat similar scenario developed with Jimmy Robertson and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

This time, the pair faced off against each other in the last round of matches with first place in the league table on the line.

Both players had garnered four points following a win and a draw each from their initial couple of tests against Marco Fu and Ian Martin.

With the better frame difference, however, Robertson only required a share of the spoils from his clash with the Thai, and that’s exactly what materialised.

Both Stephen Maguire and Jimmy Robertson will next participate in Stage Two of the tournament later this month.

On Wednesday, Stage One continues with Zhou Yuelong entering the fray in Group 20 alongside Mark King, Chang Bingyu, and Fergal O’Brien.

In Group 18, Matthew Selt will be joined by three Welshmen – Dominic Dale, Duane Jones, and amateur top-up Daniel Wells.

Live coverage is available on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and Ireland, and by various other means around the world.

Click here to view the draw (times: CET)

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. Group 21 was never in doubt: Matthew Stevens wasn’t about to get in Stephen Maguire’s way once he could no longer himself qualify. I’ve explained before how to mitigate this unsatisfactory situation.

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